Mike Moustakas’ pursuit of Steve Balboni’s franchise record for homers was delayed again Friday as the Royals opened a three-game series against the Indians here at Progressive Field.
Moustakas was out of the lineup for a second straight day while battling a sore right knee. The issue stemmed from his final at-bat against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. Moustakas heard a pop in his right knee while running to first base while flying out to center field.
Royals manager Ned Yost said Moustakas had no structural damage in his knee. He described the issue as a tendon that “just kind of rolled over and popped.” But two days later, some discomfort remained. Moustakas did pinch hit in the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. Yost said Moustakas was available to pinch hit again on Friday.
“It’s just day-to-day,” Yost said. “We thought we’d go today. It’s still a little sore, so we’ll see where he’s at tomorrow.”
Moustakas previously battled knee issues after being drilled in the hip by Detroit reliever Bruce Rondon on July 26 at Comerica Park. The incident resulted in a deep bruise on Moustakas’ right leg that drained fluid into his knee over the course of the next two to three weeks. Yost said the current soreness is not connected to the hit by pitch.
Moustakas also tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last May, an injury that ended his 2016 season. He returned healthy in 2017 and entered Friday with 35 homers, one shy of the Royals’ single-season franchise record.